Fear is in its pure expression a healthy and essential response to danger, it is a mobilization happening in your body that tells you to act and to create safety. Since we have little training to be with intense feelings, we often end up not only feeling fear, but also fear of fear itself. Spiritual or intellectual bypassing as well as obsessive panic can all be symptoms of this fear of fear.
It can be helpful for us to think of fear as a momentum, a cycle, instead of a state. In its undisturbed momentum, fear arises as a response to danger, it mobilizes us to act. After action, there is relief and we return to a calm baseline state. Healthy fear is energy moving through all of these stages in one continuum. But since most of us lack training in how to be with our feelings, our fear of fear tends to interrupt this natural and healthy momentum and instead we get stuck in one part of the cycle. We overthink, numb out, lash out, suppress, deny or panic; we are no longer present in the body, we are no longer fully here. This leaves us feeling even more uprooted and consequently in more danger. We panic more, or we get even more conceptual and righteous in our denial.
With practice, we can recognize the symptoms of an interrupted fear cycle, we can consciously self-regulate and create the right circumstances for the cycle to complete itself. Instead of fighting fear, which most often creates more fear, we can practice to hold our physical and emotional reactions in the space of Presence. We can mother ourselves, we can bring creativity and kindness to our experience.The more we cultivate emotional capacity, being able to feel our feelings instead of wasting energy in strategies to avoid them, we become more present in our lives, more resourced, creative and able to act with integrity and compassion.
what does a message of hope look like?
inquiry for today~ how can you sense the next great shift?
Prayer for Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.